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Is Compromise Possible In The Gun Debate?

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There was another mass shooting over the Memorial Day Weekend. This time, a twenty-two year-old student at the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus named Elliot Rodger, who is apparently the son of a famous-for-Hollywood director, used both a knife and a gun to kill six people and himself at various locations in and around the campus. Within hours after the story broke, we learned that Rodger had posted a number of bizarre videos to YouTube and written a 140 page “manifesto” (speaking of which, does anyone other than mass killers write manifestos anymore?) detailing his complaints about the privileged world he lived in, many of which seemed to revolve around his lack of success with women. Rodger was also, not surprisingly, under psychiatric treatment. His family had even brought his condition to the attention of law enforcement, who performed what California law calls a “welfare check” on him some weeks ago, but didn’t find any evidence to justify further proceedings.

Inevitably, of course, the incident has led to a revival of all of the same arguments about gun control that we have seen in the wake of other mass shootings over the past twenty years or more. That was perhaps most emotionally personified in the comments that the father of one of the students killed in Rodger’s rampage, who directed ire at the National Rifle Association and other organizations in a press conference that was played many times over the weekend. Additionally, several Congressmen and Senators talked about reviving the gun control measures that were put on the table in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings only to die in the Senate. Gun rights advocates, meanwhile, have pushed back against those calls while also reviving their arguments against those proposals while pointing out the role that mental health plays in shootings like these, although they again tend to ignore the profound civil liberties issues raised by the idea of governments becoming more interested in the mental health of their citizens. Other gun rights advocates repeated the old argument that the solution to mass shootings like what happened at UCSB is to allow more people to carry guns. It is, in other words, the same old song and dance and, given that it is an election year, one that is likely to be repeated many times between now and November.

Amid all the noise, though, Saul DeGraw wonders if there’s any compromise possible in the gun debate:

There has been a lot of talk about the Big Sort and whether Americans are becoming more and more politically polarized or not but perhaps it is time to introduce compromise back to the US political landscape. There are always going to be liberals. There are always going to be conservatives. There are always going to be libertarians. No side is ever going to achieve a kind of total victory where their real and perceived opponents signs a document of unconditional surrender and defeat. The Second Amendment exists and it will probably not be repealed in the immediate future and neither will the Heller or McDonald decisions. So there is a constitutional right to own weapons/guns even if liberals like me wish the Amendment was interpreted differently.

Do you know what is not in the Second Amendment though? Any mention of concealed carry, unconcealed carry, or when and where citizens can carry arms.

Can we have this has a compromise? People can own guns for protecting their homes and property. They can take them to the shooting range or use them for hunting. They cannot take them about in public with some Yippie-Kay-Yay Die Hard version of themselves or thinking we live in a world that is like Mad Max, Escape from New York, or any other post-apocalyptic fantasy. The United States is not an Anarchy filled with warlords and gangs on every block. Nor is the Zombie apocalypse going to happen. Al Qaeda and Hamas are not going to storm the Des Moines shopping mall anytime soon.

Or are we just going to continue bashing horns forever while dreaming fantasies of total defeat for our ideological opponents?

I’m not sure why DeGraw chose the carry issue as the starting point for his proposed compromise, but it seems like the appropriate place to start given the current state of the gun debate in the United States.  After the Heller and McDonald decisions, the basic right of Americans to own a gun for self-protection is, essentially settled. Even if the issues presented in those cases were to come before the Court in the future, which seems unlikely, it’s doubtful that the Justices would overturn the basic holdings of either of those decisions. In the years that have followed, though ,there has been much litigation at the Federal Court level about the question of whether the Second Amendment also covers the right to carry in public, and to what extent states may regulate that right or set conditions for people to obtain permits to carry a concealed weapon. So far, the majority of those cases have gone against the states, although its worth noting that most of those involved laws that made it essentially impossible for anyone to get a permit. However, the Supreme Court has yet to accept any of the cases on this issue that have come before it. Ultimately, the question is going to have to be answered, though, and I’m wondering if the best option might not be one that allows states and localities to make this decision for themselves, within boundaries that provide that regulations on the right to carry cannot be overly restrictive. That strikes me as a reasonable compromise that recognizes that there are differences between rural and suburban areas in the south and west, and the streets of America’s major cities, and it leaves open the possibility for both sides of the debate to make the argument in favor of their position and let the people decide what to do.

Another area where compromise seems like it ought to be possible is on the issue of universal background checks. In the wake of the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings, this was one area where some Senators attempted to act, ultimately producing a bipartisan bill drafted by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, both of whom came into the debate with essentially perfect voting records from the NRA. Polling at the time showed overwhelming support for the idea of expanded background checks for gun purchases, even among Republicans, and the Manchin-Toomey bill seemed like a reasonable compromise on the matter. Ultimately, though, the bill failed to win a cloture vote thanks to opposition from the NRA and other gun rights groups and it died in the Senate. While there’s been some talk about reviving it before the election, it’s clear that the outcome would be the same. As someone who considers himself a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and generally opposed to some of the other regulations proposed after Sandy Hook, this outcome was inconceivable to me. How could anyone rationally disagree with the idea that people with violent criminal records or a history of mental illness should be prevented as much as possible from buying firearms? And yet, largely because they believe that conceding even an inch on the gun debate means defeat, that’s exactly the position that many “gun rights” advocates take. Instead of that hard line position, though, why couldn’t we agree with that general principle?

The answer to those questions, I think, lies largely in the fact that the gun debate has become just one part of the larger political and cultural schism in the nation, a schism that has seemingly gotten more severe in recent decades. For many gun rights advocates, guns aren’t just about the Second Amendment they are a part of culture and, indeed, guns have played an important role in American history from the very beginning. That’s the reason why gun laws like those they have in Europe and Japan are largely inconceivable here. Even if we didn’t have a Second Amendment, there would be significant political opposition to even the suggestion of such laws. More importantly, though, the two sides of the gun debate don’t even seem to see anything reasonable about their opponents position. To advocates of gun control, talk about gun rights inevitably leads to someone denouncing people as “gun nuts.” To gun rights advocates, even the suggestion that firearms have a negative influence in some situations is seen as the first step on the road to tyranny. Consider, for example. the fact that the NRA has successfully blocked the nomination of Harvard Medical Sch0ol faculty member Vivek Murphy to be Surgeon General solely due to her past discussions about the health impact of gun violence.  The mere suggestion that the issue should be studied is seen as a threat.

Compromise is only possible in politics if you recognize that there is something reasonable in the positions that your opponents take, even if you disagree with them. As with many of the issues that divide the left and right today, that simply isn’t the case. As long as that’s true, the compromise that DeGrew talks about simply won’t be possible.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. beth says:

    This is undoubtedly the biggest bunch of “both sides do it” bullshit you’ve ever written. I’m sorry, but it is so blatant as to be ridiculous.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 5

  2. JWH says:

    Theoretically, our government should lead people in the middle on a particular issue to craft compromises that satisfy a plurality of members of each faction. But American politics of late seems a centrifuge — spinning out extremists to one side and the other, with nothing left in the middle.

    I’ve concluded there never was a golden age of bipartisan compromise. But at one time, you had at least a few moderates from both parties who could stand each other and occasionally get stuff done. That’s not there anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  3. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It’s easily summed up in a simple observation, Doug.

    The left puts more faith in groups than individuals.

    The right puts more faith in individuals than groups.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 26

  4. Mu says:

    The problem is that the background check is intentionally designed to leave a paper trail on otherwise untraceable gun purchases. And most “gun rights” people think a papertrail is akin to registration, confiscation, KZ, FEMA.
    You could have an easy universal background check system, do the current check once, get a number, and for the next 10 years everyone can verify the number vs. an online or automated phone system as current (unless revoked for reason).
    But this doesn’t give the government the paper trail is so desires, so it won’t happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  5. stonetools says:

    Consider, for example. the fact that the NRA has successfully blocked the nomination of Harvard Medical Sch0ol faculty member Vivek Murphy to be Surgeon General solely due to her past discussions about the health impact of gun violence. The mere suggestion that the issue should be studied is seen as a threat.

    This right here points out the problem. One side wants to have a fact-based discussion about reasonable regulation of guns to reduce the truly horrific level of gun deaths in the USA. The other side is opposed to even the idea of fact based legislation on the issue. They hate the idea of scientific study of the issue because they fear (rightly so, IMO) that fact based studies will undermine their mythology that more guns make us safer, etc. In that way the gun rights crowd are really like young earth creationists. They have their beliefs: why confuse things with facts?
    Here is a bingo card for arguing with gun nuts on Twitter

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 5

  6. Moderate Mom says:

    My husband is a gun owner. He has a number of shotguns and rifles for hunting, and has two handguns for range shooting, which he enjoys, and for protection in our home. He also has a concealed carry permit, but never carries. The guns stay in the house, unless he’s going to the range. He also has no problem with background checks. I don’t think most people do. I am unaware of any place you can buy a gun from a licensed gun seller and not have a background check. Where we live, you buy the gun and can come back and pick it up after the background check has been run.

    However, universal background checks, waiting periods, and restrictions on ammo wouldn’t have changed anything in Santa Barbara. California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, certainly more onerous than federal laws already in place, and yet this kid was able to legally purchase three guns, starting in late 2012. A mental health check wouldn’t have accomplished anything, because he had never been committed to a mental health facility and his psychiatrist had not reported him to the police as a possible danger until April, when both his parents and his psychiatrist became alarmed over some videos he had posted on the internet. By that time, he already owned all three guns and all the ten round clips (which is the limit that was proposed after Sandy Hook) that were found in his car. The police went, didn’t see anything that alarmed them, and left him to continue to plot his revenge against his perceived enemies. I’ve seen no word as to whether or not they ever checked the federal data base to see if he owned any guns. However, even if they did, they couldn’t have done anything, given that the police seemed to have found him no threat to himself or to others.

    What proposed laws, after Sandy Hook, would have done anything to have prevented this terrible event? Crazy is crazy, and unless we’re willing to let the government have unlimited access to our health records to search for a history of mental illness, these things will continue to happen.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

  7. Rafer Janders says:

    @JWH:

    Crazy is crazy, and unless we’re willing to let the government have unlimited access to our health records to search for a history of mental illness, these things will continue to happen.

    But “these things” don’t continue to happen in other countries similar to ours that have more restrictive gun laws, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Singapore, and most of Europe. They’ve got just as many crazy people as we do (though sometimes it seems otherwise….) and yet they don’t have nearly the level of mass shootings.

    Why? In those countries, it’s very hard for everyone to get easy access to high-capacity handguns and rifles.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  8. stonetools says:

    Just to show how completely around the bend gun activists on the issue : they actually believed that carrying AR15s into family restaurants where mothers and children were eating would reassure people that guns and people will guns were really awesome:

    America became a little less free after Chili’s and Sonic recently decided that it’s not a man’s God-given right to order an applewood bacon-topped burger with a semi-automatic rifle strapped to his back. The two restaurants joined Chipotle and several others in banning guns after videos surfaced of activists trying to promote the Second Amendment by brining the guns to dinner. The plan kind of backfired.

    As seen in two May 19 videos obtained by Mother Jones, the San Antonio chapter of Open Carry Texas was refused service at a local Sonic and Chili’s. The gun rights activists complain about the people they’ve made uncomfortable (one woman says they’re “dumb asses”), interact with at least one kid who thinks they’re cool, and describe what it feels like to be excluded for trying to exercise their constitutional rights. “Dang, that’s the second time in a row,” one frustrated would-be diner says after being kicked out of Sonic. “I feel like I’m a kid again. My mom won’t let me do nothing.”

    Open Carry Texas and other gun rights groups also acknowledged that the strategy wasn’t exactly PR friendly, and encouraged activists to stop bringing long guns into chain restaurants in a joint statement. “We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited.”

    Seriously, how could anyone think that mothers with children would be assured by strangers coming into a restaurant carrying a weapon capable of killing 26 children in 5 minutes?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  9. danimal says:

    Compromise will only happen when the moderating center of American politics is mobilized against the extremist positions that have dominated the debate. Until an event occurs that mobilizes public opinion (and we know that Sandy Hook was not enough of an event to upset the status quo, so it’s going to have to be more extreme), the issue will be logjammed legislatively.

    I have a hard time seeing the anti-gun side of the debate precipitating an event (massive gun confiscations, perhaps?) that pushes the debate rightward. I do foresee another violent episode along the lines of Aurora/Sandy Hook tilting public opinion towards compromise. I am not happy at all about this conclusion, since it implies sensible moderation will only occur from the blood of innocents..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Rafer Janders says:

    @stonetools:

    Seriously, how could anyone think that mothers with children would be assured by strangers coming into a restaurant carrying a weapon capable of killing 26 children in 5 minutes?

    Oh, much faster than that, man. Some of those weapons are designed to kill every person there in about 30 seconds flat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  11. Jeff Sexton says:

    The sticking point for me is mental health. Define “mental health”? Both Sandy Hook and this guy were apparently Autistic. Should we then ban the MILLIONS of Autistic – including myself – from being able to defend themselves with appropriate tools?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  12. Rafer Janders says:

    An interesting op-ed (link below) on Australia’s experience with gun control after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. Short version, after the massacre the Conservative Howard government pushed through a series of gun control measures that, while they didn’t ban gun ownership outright, subjected it to a far more stringent set of restrictions, including banning semi-automatics, universal background checks, registration, 28-day waiting periods, a deep-dive licensing and screening process by the police, and the prospective gun owner having to provide a reasonable reason why he or she wants the particular weapon they want (and self-defense is not a justifiable reason). You can still hunt for sport, shoot at a shooting range, etc., but you can’t carry guns around like a yahoo and build up an arsenal.

    End result? Total deaths by firearm dropped from 2.6 in 100,000 to less than 1 in 100,000, or 1/10th the US rate. If you count gun deaths by homicide alone, then Australia’s rate is 1/30 that of the US.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/14/america-mass-murder-australia-gun-control-saves-lives

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  13. ernieyeball says:

    People kill people with guns in this country because they can.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  14. Rafer Janders says:

    @danimal:

    I am not happy at all about this conclusion, since it implies sensible moderation will only occur from the blood of innocents..

    Well, as the NRA motto says, “The tree of liberty must from time to time be refreshed by the blood of innocent bystanders.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  15. Paul L. says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Oh, much faster than that, man. Some of those weapons are designed to kill every person there in about 30 seconds flat.

    So why should Police/Law Enforcement have exceptions in Gun Laws to have/use those non-smart weapons “designed to kill [large groups of people] there in about 30 seconds flat.”

    Is it Police/Law Enforcement’s job to kill large groups of people?

    I hope Democrats run for election in 2014 on a National conversation of Guns, Gun Safety and Background Checks(Backdoor Gun Registration) with Obama leading the charge against Guns.

    Progressives should believe that the Democrats will retake the House and get a filibusterer proof Senate it

    Afterall they say 90% of Americans including NRA members believe Congress should pass a Gun Background Checks Law with a Assault Weapons Ban.

    It is just the extremist NRA leadership who oppose a “Common sense” Gun Background Checks Law with a Assault Weapons Ban.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    An interesting parallel might be drawn to the issue of abortion. On that side, it’s the right that is always pushing “reasonable compromises” and “common-sense laws,” while the left holds out for absolutism.

    And while the particular arguments might differ, they certainly seem to rhyme…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 29

  17. Franklin says:

    I actually thought Doug made a good post. So shoot me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  18. Paul L. says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well, as the NRA motto says, “The tree of liberty must from time to time be refreshed by the blood of innocent bystanders.”

    NYPD Gunfire In Empire State Building Shooting Wounded All Nine Bystanders

    New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said all nine bystanders wounded in Friday’s Empire State Building shooting had been hit with police gunfire

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @ Doug,
    You know…Beth is absolutely right…you are pathetic.
    A serious person would have noted that gun fetishists are fighting against what is a compromise. They are also fighting against something that 90% of the country agrees is right, including a large percentage of NRA members.
    A serious person would have noted that firearm fanboys, including many that comment here regularly, feel that Christopher Michael-Martinez didn’t have a right to life…but Elliot Rodger had a right to own deadly weapons.
    A serious person would have noted that the discourse over gun control is not a reasonable discussion by reasonable people…but is discourse driven by lobbyists like the NRA and their dupes.
    But clearly your analysis was not meant to be serious.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  20. anjin-san says:

    Crazy is crazy

    When conservatives pony up the money to adequately fund our mental health system, I will start taking them a bit more seriously on the subject. Until then, talk about mental health is just a bait and switch.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  21. Rafer Janders says:

    @Paul L.:

    Too many Randomly capitalized Words for Me To read and Take seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  22. Rafer Janders says:

    @Paul L.:

    Um, yes. Guns are very, very dangerous, even when wielded by police who carry them every day and have been instructed in their use.

    Or do you think it would have been better if some of those bystanders had been able to shoot back at the cops on that crowded sidewalk?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  23. Mu says:

    In regards to Australia, while the gun control reduced the number of firearms murder significantly, firearms weren’t used in the majority of murders to begin with. http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html Nice selective use of statistics.
    You can find similar data on suicides – Americans are much more likely to commit suicide with a gun. Europeans, lacking guns, stand in front of trains. The overall rates are comparable between 10-15 per 100,000.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Since we’re going full anecdote here, how about this one:

    Criminal brazenly defies “no guns” sign, robs restaurant at gunpoint

    Perhaps the restaurant would have been better served by displaying one of these signs instead…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 19

  25. Ron Beasley says:

    A vast majority of NRA owners disagree with NRA policy. Although most of the NRA’s money comes from gun manufacturers if NRA members were encouraged to leave the origination it would would make it look less legitimate and look more like the lobby for gun makers that it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    @Mu:

    You can find similar data on suicides – Americans are much more likely to commit suicide with a gun. Europeans, lacking guns, stand in front of trains.

    Aha! Got you! America won’t fund a reliable network of high-speed trains, so without guns Americans won’t even have that option! Our refusal to put in place a 21st century transportation infrastructure will save lives!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  27. Rafer Janders says:

    @Mu:

    Nice selective use of statistics.

    No, non-selective use, since the article was specifically about deaths by firearm, not about homicides in general.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @Jeff Sexton:
    I do not know you or your background and I don’t know much about autism.
    But I think any reasonable person can say that neither Elliot Rodger nor Adam Lanza should have been allowed anywhere near deadly weapons.
    Elliot Rodger reportedly saw a therapist every single day during High School. That information should be in background checks and it should have prevented him from purchasing firearms.
    Firearms fanatics have this idea that the right to own guns can never be abridged. It’s nonsense and the case law on that is decided. Unfortunately, as Elliot Rodger’s father said of his son;

    “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  29. ernieyeball says:

    @Jeff Sexton: Should we then ban the MILLIONS of Autistic – including myself – from being able to defend themselves with appropriate tools?

    Please help us understand your diagnosis of citizen Roger and citizen Lanza as “…apparently autistic.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Life begins at conception is a compromise?
    You should buy a dog and name it Clue…then you will have one.
    Idiot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 4

  31. bill says:

    @Rafer Janders: um, he stabbed 3 people, shot 3. he was determined to kill a bunch of people, and his means are immaterial as he would have found a way. meanwhile, across the country in myrtle beach, another loser shot 4- killing 3. not much press on that one.
    in any event, another “known” psycho was on the loose but his “rights” couldn’t be violated for the sake of the masses. and now we dig graves and blame the nra, more brilliance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    But I think any reasonable person can say that neither Elliot Rodger nor Adam Lanza should have been allowed anywhere near deadly weapons.

    Ex post facto, yes. But there are tens of millions of Americans with similar disorders, and 99.999% of them will never commit a similar crime. There’s simply no predictive causal link between most mental illness and violence directed against others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    another “known” psycho was on the loose

    Are you prepared to work to properly fund our mental health system? Put your money where your mouth is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  34. Paul L. says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Um, yes. Guns are very, very dangerous, even when wielded by police who carry them every day and have been instructed in their use.

    Like?
    LAPD Chief: Officers Violated Policy in Dorner-Related Shooting of Women in Truck

    Glad that you agree citizens should be disarmed and Police should be able to kill any number of innocent bystanders as justified by the “First Rule of Policing” : Officer Safety is paramount. and they have to make it home alive to their families.

    And that the Democrats should run on that for 2014.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  35. Tillman says:

    We can have “the discussion” on guns the moment the right is willing to talk about guns instead of deflecting to mental health reflexively as they have for the past couple of mass killings.

    There is a legitimate discussion needed about mental health, but the right isn’t interested in that discussion unless they can use it as an excuse not to talk about guns. Bad faith acting there. And as you point out, expanding the federal government’s role in determining mental health to own a gun runs counter to the right’s principles, demonstrating even further that they use it as a dodge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  36. Rafer Janders says:

    @bill:

    and his means are immaterial as he would have found a way.

    Oh, c’mon, that’s an asinine thing to write and you know it. Killing 25 people with a knife is near impossible. Killing 25 people with a semi-automatic rifle, or a car, or a bomb is the work of seconds.

    If the means are immaterial, then we can just ban guns outright and let everyone carry pocket knives for self-defense, right? After all, if you want to defend yourself you’ll find a way….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  37. Franklin says:

    @Rafer Janders: And that’s on an island populated with convicts!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. Paul L. says:

    @Ron Beasley:
    Right 90% of Americans including NRA members believe Congress should pass a Gun Background Checks Law with a Assault Weapons Ban.

    Democrats should run on it to retake the House and get a filibusterer proof Senate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  39. Rafer Janders says:

    @Paul L.:

    Um, again, yes, guns are very very dangerous, even when wielded by professional police who have been trained in their use.

    Do you think that if those women in the truck had been shot ambush-style by the police that they (a) would have been able to shoot back if they had guns, considering that they were wounded before they knew what was happening, and that (b) shooting back at the police and getting into a firefight with them would have improved things?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @Paul L.:

    And, yeah, I’m going to be the first to agree that the police are far too militarized, and that we should take away many of their military-style toys and reform their training so that they approach the citizenry in a far less adversarial manner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  41. C. Clavin says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    And I may never have a car accident or be in a plane crash but I still must wear seat-belts.
    I don’t see how making people with mental health issues jump through many difficult hoops before they are allowed to possess weapons meant to kill is unreasonable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  42. Rafer Janders says:

    @Paul L.:

    You do not have to capitalize every noun when writing in English.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. rudderpedals says:

    There can be no compromise when every thing – and especially gun issues – are hills to die on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I don’t see how making people with mental health issues jump through many difficult hoops before they are allowed to possess weapons meant to kill is unreasonable.

    Because (a) as I’ve noted, there is no causal link between mental illness and violence against others (unlike a causal link between say wearing a seatbelt and injury in a car crash –we don’t make you wear a seatbelt when you’re not IN a car);

    (b) even among mental health professionals, defining what is a “mental illness” is damn near impossible (is it everyone who’s ever had depression? Anxiety? ADHD? In any given year, about 25% of the population suffers from some kind of mental disorder, with the lifetime rate being closer to 50% by some estimates); and

    (c ) linking mental health treatment to gun permits is likely to drive many people away from much-needed treatment rather than towards it, as they fear being reported to the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  45. Tillman says:

    @Ron Beasley: This. So much this. I’ve met so many gun-toting NRA folk who are completely perplexed at the ridiculous lengths the NRA goes to block sensible reform.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  46. stonetools says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    What proposed laws, after Sandy Hook, would have done anything to have prevented this terrible event?

    I’m glad you asked. Maybe we could have a law like Canada’s where you have to complete a gun safety training course, including instruction on when NOT to shoot, before buying a handgun. ( I doubt a mentally unstable person could pass such a course).
    Maybe you can have a law where three people have to vouch that you are a responsible person who is not likely to misuse a gun (lone whackos have trouble finding people who will vouch for them).
    Maybe you can have a potential gun owner be required to justify in writing why he would need to have a gun( Again, I see a lone whacko having difficulty coming up with any reasonable justification).
    A sane, responsible person would have little difficulty fulfilling any or all of these requirements. But they would slow down or even stop the whacko with delusions of grandeur and an intent on punishing women for turning him down.
    Note too that California’s laws prevent him from acquiring even more deadly weapons like an AR-15. If the killer had be able to buy an AR15 with a 30 round magazine, we might be talking about 10,15 or 20 dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  47. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    And (d), allowing law enforcement to get involved with mental health treatment is generally a very, very bad idea with a whole host of negative consequences.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  48. michael reynolds says:

    1) All of the arguments in favor of private gun ownership are irrational. They rest on utterly nonsensical approaches to relative threats, or on hero fantasies, or on racist paranoia, or on a more general paranoia, or on an absurd reading of history. They are pure, distilled essence of bullsh!t.

    2) The fact that we may – according to the Supreme Court – possess weapons does not in any way, shape or form speak to the wisdom of doing so.

    3) The area of compromise is simple, really. We need to change the dynamic around that second point, around the wisdom of owning guns. Forget about challenging the “right,” challenge the wisdom. In particular the utter irresponsibility, the blind criminal stupidity, of owning a firearm in a home where children are present.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 8

  49. grumpy realist says:

    Considering the NRA is also arguing to get rid of the bans on firearms for people convicted of violent felonies I don’t think we’re going to see any realistic movement in this area yet.

    Amazing how we can have what amounts to a terrorist attack, but because it’s carried out with guns, nothing happens. Probably one reason why Bin Laden didn’t have his minions attack via firearm–he wanted us to provoke the U.S. into a reaction and he knew full well that nothing with guns is ever taken notice of. It’s just more blood on the highway and the subject for a CW song.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  50. John D'Geek says:

    @Jeff Sexton:

    The sticking point for me is mental health.

    Me as well. A well known politician once talked about taking guns away from everyone with PTSD, betraying her ignorance of basic mental health. I don’t own a gun, but I was offended by that (for those that came in late: I have PTSD): How does she “know” that I’m a danger to everyone — a “ticking time-bomb” — based on a label, when my Therapist (and martial arts instructor) find it ludicrous to even consider me in that way? Have they considered that this means early disability retirement for approximately 50%* of active police officers?

    * Estimate based on an estimate, reported in an APA publication that I can’t get to right now. Approximately 50% of those exposed to trauma will develop PTSD. This estimate is undoubtedly wrong, but it’s the best one I’m aware of at this point in time. More germane to the conversation, a police officer with PTSD is no more likely to shoot someone than one without. May even be less likely given hyper-vigilance about his/her own motivations, though that is speculation on my part.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  51. C. Clavin says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    Fine…then make everyone who wants to own a gun undergo rigorous mental health evaluations.
    It’s not just mental health. Some sort of intelligence tests as well. Every day kids are killed because their parents weren’t smart enough to secure their weapons. If they aren’t smart enough to secure them then they aren’t smart enough to own them in the first place. There’s just no reason that deadly weapons should be so readily available. I’ve stood next to people at Cabela’s…and it has scared me that they are allowed to possess firearms. Self-defense is a right and I have no problem with it…but given the ability for defensive weapons to cause offensive damage…it needs to be far better regulated.
    I await your…“well there’s just nothing we can do and a million reasons we can’t do it”….response.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  52. anjin-san says:

    The sticking point for me is mental health.

    Let’s just fund & fix our mental health system. Leave guns out of that equation. If we make sure that people that need help have access to it, and that the the most profoundly ill get help even if they would prefer not to, the situation will improve.

    In the meantime, we will also be improving other serious issues such as homelessness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  53. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Fine…then make everyone who wants to own a gun undergo rigorous mental health evaluations.

    Do you want to do the same for driver’s licenses? Should everyone who wants to drive a car undergo a rigorous mental health evaluation? Should everyone with a history of depression, anxiety, PTSD, postpartum depression, ADHD etc. not be allowed to drive? Because a car, after all, is a very deadly weapon….

    Far easier, I think, just to more strongly regulate gun ownership for everyone, mental health issues or not. People with mental health issues are no more or less likely to use guns in a violent attack against others than are supposedly “normal” people (with the caveat that people who are obviously delusional / in the grip of full-blown psychosis shouldn’t have guns –but then neither should they have cars or steak knives or access to high bridges).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  54. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I await your…“well there’s just nothing we can do and a million reasons we can’t do it”….response.

    I don’t know why you’d await that, as I’m for more gun control. I’d much prefer a Canadian / European type system, including banning semi-automatics, restricting the number of guns allowed so as to avoid arsenals, renewable licensing, registration, etc. But I’d like that for everyone, across the board, not just those with mental health issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  55. C. Clavin says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    You are correct…people with mental health issues are far more likely to be victims than to cause mass carnage as in Santa Barbara. Everyone should have to go through a rigorous application process before they are allowed to own a gun…not just the mentally ill. And they should have to undergo rigorous firearm training as well as frequent spot inspections of their weapon storage facilities by the ATF. Well-regulated would be a good term to use.
    And actually yes…there are way too many people driving automobiles that shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Driving instruction should be taken far more seriously in this country. And I would also limit the power of a vehicle one can own…based upon the ability to qualify…specifically, but not limited to, motorcycles and teenagers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. PJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    An interesting parallel might be drawn to the issue of abortion. On that side, it’s the right that is always pushing “reasonable compromises” and “common-sense laws,” while the left holds out for absolutism.

    The left holds out for absolutism? The left is arguing that abortion should be fully legal up and until the women gives birth then? If there’s any absolutism, it’s the argument that life begins at conception and that abortion is _always_ wrong. Which side is arguing that now?
    What are the “reasonable compromises” and “common-sense laws” pushed by the right? That abortion should only be legal in case of one or more of incest, rape, and if the women is in danger? Forcing women to have an ultra-sound?
    And don’t forget the right opposing the day-after pill, a pill that needs to be taken within five days of intercourse. Talk about absolutism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  57. Rafer Janders says:

    @PJ:

    Um, PJ — that commenter just wants attention. She posts something deliberately stupid and/or untrue in hopes of getting people to respond to her and/or derail the discussion, and the response tells her she’s alive. I wouldn’t bother dealing with her further unless you wanted to get sucked into a narcissist’s vortex.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  58. JWH says:

    @Rafer Janders: I did not write any of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I think the issue of mental health is somewhat of a red herring. The issue should not be on diagnosing the mental health of a prospective gun owner, but on whether the prospect can be a responsible gun owner.
    Rodger to me was not so much mentally ill as as he was a racist, misogynistic sociopath.Such a person can display as perfectly sane, but still should be unfit to own a gun. I think a prospective gun owner should have to take and pass a gun safety course. They need to demonstrate that they don’t see a gun as a toy or sex aid, that they can be restrained in their use of a firearm in ambiguous circumstances, and that they can be meticulous in following protocols in maintaining their firearms. They should also be retested periodically.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  60. Rafer Janders says:

    @JWH:

    Correct, you did not, “Moderate Mom” did at 12:24. My apologies, I must have clicked the wrong link to reply to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  61. Rafer Janders says:

    @stonetools:

    I can generally agree with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “It’s easily summed up in a simple observation, Doug.

    The left puts more faith in groups than individuals.

    The right puts more faith in individuals than groups.”

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “An interesting parallel might be drawn to the issue of abortion. On that side, it’s the right that is always pushing “reasonable compromises” and “common-sense laws,” while the left holds out for absolutism.

    And while the particular arguments might differ, they certainly seem to rhyme”

    It’s certainly an interesting parallel, just not the one you think it is. The parallel is that each side trusts individuals when convenient for the argument they believe, and pushes for group action through laws when convenient.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  63. PJ says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    I agree, but well, I’m too kind and I have too much empathy. Who knows what he or she would do if we all started to ignore him/her. This may very well be last thing he or she is clinging on to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  64. Rafer Janders says:

    @PJ:

    I agree, but well, I’m too kind and I have too much empathy.

    Yeah, well, sociopaths and narcissists feed on that. It’s like meat and drink to them. Only trouble is, the more you give, the more they take, and it’s never enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  65. grumpy realist says:

    @C. Clavin: I nearly got T-boned this last weekend by some idiot who didn’t seem to notice that I had a green arrow in my lane and the right of way. Probably was some student texting…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. al-Ameda says:

    Frankly, I look forward to the NRA’s coming response – to the Elliot Rodgers-Isla Vista murders – that if all of those victims had been armed, it’s likely that they’d be alive today.

    We’re now at the point in this country where we’re expected to accept the occasional annual mass killing as we do an annual outbreak of influenza – see your doctor and hope for the best.

    The fact that we’re a nation of 315M people and nearly as many guns is an important public health problem, yet we know that that’s a non-starter, because a few years ago Republican lawmakers passed a bill that expressly forbids government agencies, such as the CDC, from researching the ramifications of easy gun access and availability in a population of over 300M people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  67. anjin-san says:

    “It’s easily summed up in a simple observation, Doug.

    The left puts more faith in groups than individuals.

    The right puts more faith in individuals than groups.”

    The right thinks people should be allowed to marry the person of their choice? News to me. Last time I checked, a group (conservatives) was fighting tooth and nail to dictate life choices to gays/lesbians.

    Next, let’s talk about all the Republicans who are not demanding that individuals be allowed to grow/smoke & otherwise use pot if they choose to do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  68. C. Clavin says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Republican lawmakers passed a bill that expressly forbids government agencies, such as the CDC, from researching the ramifications of easy gun access and availability in a population of over 300M people.

    They just tried to do the same with Climate Change…although it will probably go as far as their 50 attempts to repeal Obamacare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. anjin-san says:

    @ C. Clavin @ al-Ameda:

    Are you guys talking about that hippie science BS again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  70. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    @ C. Clavin @ al-Ameda:
    Are you guys talking about that hippie science BS again?

    As you know, if Galileo or Copernicus had been armed ……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  71. PJ says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Yeah, well, sociopaths and narcissists feed on that. It’s like meat and drink to them. Only trouble is, the more you give, the more they take, and it’s never enough.

    But who knows what Mutt Williams will do if being completely ignored. Maybe we stop hearing from little Mutty and then there’s a another shooting and we find out that Mutty is the one responsible? Isn’t it up to us to keep little Mutty occupied?

    He could very well be the next Elliot Rodger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  72. bill says:

    @Rafer Janders: ok, he had a gun and 400 rounds- and his body count was 3 with the knife, 3 with the gun. if he had no access to a gun maybe he would’ve burned down or blown up the sorority, after locking the doors? a psycho will figure out how to do what it wants to do. you have no issues with homicidal maniacs running amok i guess?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  73. PJ says:

    @bill:

    if he had no access to a gun maybe he would’ve burned down or blown up the sorority, after locking the doors? a psycho will figure out how to do what it wants to do. you have no issues with homicidal maniacs running amok i guess?!

    I guess that explains all those stories from other countries, where everybody aren’t allowed to own guns, about maniacs burning down or blowing up houses filled with people…

    I find it troublesome that you are thinking about other ways to commit mass murders if you don’t have access to guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  74. Tillman says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Do you want to do the same for driver’s licenses? Should everyone who wants to drive a car undergo a rigorous mental health evaluation? Should everyone with a history of depression, anxiety, PTSD, postpartum depression, ADHD etc. not be allowed to drive? Because a car, after all, is a very deadly weapon….

    Well, we don’t have an explicit Constitutional right to keep and bear cars…hmm. Maybe it’s time we get rid of all those crazy drivers.

    Unfortunately, “all those crazy drivers” is often “everyone driving who isn’t me.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  75. Tillman says:

    @bill:

    a psycho will figure out how to do what it wants to do.

    First, a psycho will figure out how to do what he or she wants to do. Psychos are people too.

    Second, if that’s the case, why bother having any laws?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  76. anjin-san says:

    First, a psycho will figure out how to do what he or she wants to do. Psychos are people too.

    Yes. And it would be useful – if our friends on the right actually want to have a productive discussion of this problem – to remember that people who are mentally ill do not ask to be that way, and that they suffer in ways that are hard for a healthy person to imagine every day of their lives.

    Do we refer to cancer patients as “those sick fu**ks”?

    Want to make a dent in the problems related to mental illness in America? Try compassion instead of anger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  77. Rafer Janders says:

    @bill:

    a psycho will figure out how to do what it wants to do.

    Um, generally, part of being a “psycho” is that it’s very difficult for you to make rational plans, consider alternatives, and use adaptive non-rigid thinking.

    So no, a psychotic person will often NOT figure out how to do whatever he wants. Because psycho.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  78. Rafer Janders says:

    @Tillman:

    Well, we don’t have an explicit Constitutional right to keep and bear cars…

    Actually, we do, as part of a well-regulated convoy….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  79. C. Clavin says:

    If I was one of these firearms fanboys I would be concerned about exactly what Doug ignores in his original post…that in being completely obstructionist to even the most common sense steps that almost everyone agrees with…you set the table for a massive landslide of regulation. People with a gun fetish shouldn’t believe that the Columbines and Auroras and Sandy Hooks and Santa Barbaras can go on ad infinitum. You can pile sand higher and higher and higher…until a point…and then suddenly the whole pile comes sliding down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  80. Tyrell says:

    One thought is that there are two issues that are intertwined here. One is gun control itself. The other is mental illness. Years ago the federal courts made some rulings that basically opened the mental hospitals and many patients wound up on the streets, unable to care for themselves. The courts also made it harder to get treatment for mentally ill people and to get them committed to an asylum. So the problems of keeping mentally ill people away from weapons needs to be studied.
    Of course, criminals aren’t going to obey any gun laws. One group that could be helpful for advice and ideas would be hunters and competition shooters. They could help come up with a list of ways to deal with these problems. They can also help in giving safety lessons to people who already have guns. They could educate people on how to keep their guns secured and locked up.
    A few years ago I saw a sign that said “If Gun Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns”. I thought about for some time and it makes a lot of sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  81. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You can pile sand higher and higher and higher…until a point…and then suddenly the whole pile comes sliding down.

    Which is what happened in Australia after Port Arthur, and in Britain after Dunblane. The breaking point, when it came, was swift and sudden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  82. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    A few years ago I saw a sign that said “If Gun Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns”. I thought about for some time and it makes a lot of sense.

    Well thanks, that explains why Japan is ruled by the Yakuza.

    My recent favorite bumper sticker said,
    “PLEASE DON’T HIT ME”
    “I’m not 100% sure about my coverage”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  83. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell: Years ago the federal courts made some rulings that basically opened the mental hospitals and many patients wound up on the streets, unable to care for themselves.

    Please cite these rulings of the federal courts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  84. Jack says:

    He killed 3 people with a knife and one with a BMW. Where is the compromise in the knife/BMW debate? Society wants to put blame anywhere but where it belongs…on the person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  85. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    truly horrific level of gun deaths in the USA

    There are about 30k “gun deaths a year. After you weed our suicides, which would likely happen anyway (55%), Self defense and police shootings (~12%), you are left with about 9000 actual homicides. 9k out of 330 million US citizens. I believe you are the one that doesn’t like facts.

    The reality is that crime isn’t caused by guns, and no matter what tools we humans have available there will always be murder and there will always be evil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  86. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Why? In those countries, it’s very hard for everyone to get easy access to high-capacity handguns and rifles.

    True. Yet you have limited your analysis to gun deaths only, simply because it fits your narrative. When you compare homicides to homicides the US is less than or equal to all other 1st world nations. Does the tool used really matter or don’t you REALLY care about deaths, but just about getting rid of guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  87. Jack says:

    @stonetools: The restaurant/Texas/long gun carry idea is stupid, but Texas law outlaws the open carry of pistols. Essentially, to carry a pistol, you must have government permission and pay for the government to ALLOW you to exercise a right. These people are activists doing the only thing they CAN within the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  88. anjin-san says:

    When you compare homicides to homicides the US is less than or equal to all other 1st world nations.

    Cite?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  89. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    These people are activists doing the only thing they CAN within the law.

    The only thing they can do is scare the shit out of families eating a meal for no reason? Then they are truly worthless human beings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  90. Jack says:

    @Paul L.:

    It is just the extremist NRA leadership who oppose a “Common sense” Gun Background Checks Law with a Assault Weapons Ban.

    There is no 90% agreement, that is just like the 90% of all guns in Mexico come from the US lie.

    Additionally, do you realize the “Assault Weapons Ban” only banned cosmetics? It banned two or more of the following: Folding or telescoping stocks, bayonet lugs, flash suppressor, and grenade launcher. Can you please explain how banning these made anyone safer? None of these cosmetic features correspond to accuracy or lethality. NY has also banned “assault weapons” that have a forward leaning hand grip, so the gun manufacturers simply redesigned the stock and took out the forward leaning hand grip. The GUN IS NO LESS LETHAL. Banning cosmetic features because the look scary is not a way to legislate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  91. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    A serious person would have noted that gun fetishists are fighting against what is a compromise.

    We have ALREADY compromised. The NICS check was the compromise. I used to be able to order guns from the Sears and Roebuck catalog…no check required. Now, even with a CCW permit–meaning I underwent a thorough background check, I must continue to undergo the same checks as someone who has never bought a weapon. You would have us compromise ourselves to non existence. That won’t happen in my lifetime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  92. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    When you compare homicides to homicides the US is less than or equal to all other 1st world nations.

    Bullshit. Other 1st world nations don’t even come close. UNODC data here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  93. Jack says:

    @anjin-san: I though your wet dream of Obamacare covered mental health. I covers everything else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  94. Brent Grace says:

    @Tyrell:

    Somebody is dealing with the problem. America’s murder rate is falling. Murder is down close to 40% in the last 20 years.

    http://www.vox.com/2014/5/25/5749316/us-murder-rate-decline

    Note at the link that non-fatal shootings have dropped by 69% over the last 20 years.

    As for “is compromise possible”? Well anything is possible. But Cerci Lannister nailed it when she said “When you play the Game of Thrones either you win or you die, there is no middle ground”. Truer words have never been spoken. So, if the pro gun side is winning, why bother compromising? Somebody up thread suggested that if pro gun people don’t give a little now there will be a big wave of regulation in the future.

    Hmmm, let’s unpack that one, a bit.

    If I was a rational person and I was afraid of massive future regulation of guns, what might I do:

    I might pass state laws that make it illegal for states to comply with federal gun control.

    I might defund the law enforcement organization that would probably be responsible for enforcing new gun laws.

    I might make absolutely certain that there were millions of firearms in circulation without a paper trail.

    With these things in place, plus Heller, Australian style regulations would probably be illegal. Even if it isn’t, the conditions above make major firearms regulations just this side of unenforceable anyway, and with states forbidding cooperation with federal law enforcement they become even less enforceable, because realistically if local LE doesn’t arrest a person they don’t get arrested, there just aren’t enough federal LEO for them to be able to operate without cooperation.

    In conclusion, the NRA are Lannisters, playing the Game of Thrones to either win or die. The anti-gun folks are the Knights of Summer, protesting people open carrying guns at Mexican restaurants and acting like they win when the business asks all the protesters (both pro and anti gun) to go away. Never mind that the businesses still allow concealed carry (as Starbucks and Chipotle still do). Frankly, if gun control people understood the long game they’d support more CC licenses, because people who concealed carry (in most states) have to go through background checks and training classes (which gun control proponents claim to like). Instead, they fight minor tactical battles on the periphery while the NRA inch ever closer to the Iron Throne.

    But hey, people who like guns are stupid, I know it for a fact because I read it on a website.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  95. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    You would have us compromise ourselves to non existence.

    He already has to fill out a form, people! Any more requirements and he will cease to exist!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  96. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    Maybe you can have a law where three people have to vouch that you are a responsible person who is not likely to misuse a gun (lone whackos have trouble finding people who will vouch for them).
    Maybe you can have a potential gun owner be required to justify in writing why he would need to have a gun( Again, I see a lone whacko having difficulty coming up with any reasonable justification).

    What other rights should we subject to these rules?
    I don’t need to justify exercising a right.

    “The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” – U S v. CRUIKSHANK, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) 92 U.S. 542

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  97. Mu says:

    Of course, the US has about as many people as the rest of the 1st world nations together…
    But just outlawing guns won’t help a bit, you’d have to also repeal the 4th and 5th amendments to allow large scale search and seizure of weapons. Which in itself could get very ugly if you have enough Edgars in the mix. If you go with current policing methods you end up with the Chicago situations – one of the highest gun murder rates in the country despite a near total ban on legal handguns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  98. Rafer Janders says:

    @Tyrell:

    A few years ago I saw a sign that said “If Gun Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns”.

    Good.

    Because most of us will never be shot by an “outlaw.” We’re going to be shot by the perfectly law-abiding jealous husband, the stalker ex-boyfriend, the fired co-worker, the road-rage driver who didn’t like being cut off, the drunk guy who lost the fight at the bar, the bullied teenager, or the random stranger who happens to encounter us on the street. I’d like for those people not to have a gun handy when they snap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  99. Jack says:

    @mantis: Apparently I must spell everything out for you. They are carrying in the ONLY LEGAL manner afforded to them by Texas law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  100. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    When you compare homicides to homicides the US is less than or equal to all other 1st world nations.

    That’s simply false. It is, quite frankly, a lie. You should be ashamed of yourself for being such a lying liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  101. Rafer Janders says:

    @Brent Grace:

    But Cerci Lannister nailed it when she said “When you play the Game of Thrones either you win or you die, there is no middle ground”. Truer words have never been spoken.

    You realize that (a) she’s a fictional character, and (b) even in the universe of that books she’s an evil, unbalanced psychotic who is not to be emulated, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  102. ernieyeball says:

    @Jack: These people are activists doing the only thing they CAN within the law.

    If they really want to show off their stuff they should go to Poolville TX.
    http://www.thearmadilloresort.com
    Home of the Nude World Order!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  103. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    What other rights should we subject to these rules?

    No rights are absolute, even those provided by the Constitution. You would know that if you had the first clue about the United States of America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  104. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    Apparently I must spell everything out for you.

    It’s not my fault you write stupid things you don’t mean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  105. Rafer Janders says:

    @Mu:

    Of course, the US has about as many people as the rest of the 1st world nations together…

    (A) That’s not true. The EU alone has over 500 million people (as compared to 300 million in the US), and we haven’t even gotten to counting Japan (128 million plus), South Korea (50 million), Canada (30 million), Australia and New Zealand (25 million), Norway (5 million), Switzerland (8 million), etc. etc. C’mon, is it so so hard for you to use the Google that you can’t even do basic research before making blatantly false claims?

    (B) Even when looking at homicides per capita, we are way ahead (or behind, however you prefer to look at it).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  106. Jack says:

    @mantis: @mantis:

    Here’s a look at the U.N.’s latest tally of nations with the highest homicide rates:

    COUNTRIES
    Honduras: 90.4 (per 100,000)
    Venezuela: 53.7
    Belize: 44.7
    El Salvador: 41.2
    Guatemala: 39.9
    Jamaica: 39.3
    Swaziland: 33.8
    Saint Kitts and Nevis: 33.6
    South Africa: 31.0
    Colombia: 30.8

    The US is is way down the list at 4.7

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  107. Rafer Janders says:

    @Mu:

    But just outlawing guns won’t help a bit, you’d have to also repeal the 4th and 5th amendments to allow large scale search and seizure of weapons.

    Um, no you don’t. Marijuana is outlawed, for example, but we don’t have large scale house to house search and seizure of bongs and rolling papers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  108. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    You lying idiot, Jack. You said the US homicide rate was “less than or equal to all other 1st world nations.” None of those countries you cited above are First World nations. You have to compare to our peers such as Germany, Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  109. Jack says:

    @mantis: Show me a 1st amendment limitation that I cannot do. Yell Fire in a crowded theater, I can do that. Slander, I can do that. Threaten, I can do that. It’s not until someone actually breaks a law and is arrested and prosecuted, that the right is limited. I’ll put it in words you understand…Prior Restraint. You cannot restrain a person because he MIGHT break a law, you can only restrain them ONCE they’ve broken the law.

    Again,

    “The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” – U S v. CRUIKSHANK, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) 92 U.S. 542

    That says, I don’t need a 2nd amendment or a constitution to exercise my right of bearing arms for a lawful purpose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  110. PJ says:

    @mantis:

    Bullshit. Other 1st world nations don’t even come close.

    Great link.

    So, the US has 4.7 homicides / 100.000
    Countries with comparable homicides rates (4.2 – 5.1/100.000): Iran, Cuba, Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia, Niger, Yemen, Estonia, Albania, Belarus.

    Some 1st world nations:
    Japan? 0.3.
    Iceland? 0.3.
    Switzerland? 0.6.
    Sweden? 0.7.
    Germany? 0.8.
    Italy? 0.9.
    New Zealand? 0.9.
    France? 1.0.
    Australia? 1.1.
    Ireland? 1.2.
    Canada? 1.6.
    Finland? 1.6.

    Jack, you do understand the meaning of the following:
    “less than or equal to”?
    “all other”?
    “1st world nations”?

    Just want to be sure.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  111. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    Here’s a look at the U.N.’s latest tally of nations with the highest homicide rates:

    None of those are 1st world nations, dumbass. Way to move the goalposts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  112. wr says:

    @Tillman: “Well, we don’t have an explicit Constitutional right to keep and bear cars”

    We didn’t have an explicit Constitutional right to have as many guns as we wanted until five reactionary members of the Supreme Court decided that only the second half of the second amendment deserved to be read.

    Doug likes to talk about the current status of guns as settled law, apparently hoping that it could be repealed as easily as it was invented if, say, Antonin Scalia met one of the lovely people he decided should be armed to the teeth in every possible situation.

    One change to the court and our gun laws could go back to sanity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  113. anjin-san says:

    Jack’s argument seems to boiled down to “Saint Kitts and Nevis has a higher murder rate than we do – USA ROCKS!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  114. wr says:

    @Jack: Oh noes, Jack has to fill out a form before he can get another kiling macine! Truly this is the end of freedom!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  115. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: Germany: 1 per 100k; Japan: .5 per 100k; Canada: 2 per 100k, United Kingdom: 1 per 100k, Australia: 1 per 100k…US 5 per 100k

    OK, not equivalent or equal to, but they are not sky is falling numbers either.

    Again, this guy knifed 3 of his victims, yet everyone wants to talk gun control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  116. Jack says:

    @wr: Awwww, Cupcake, aren’t you cute. If you so heartily disagree you should have just shaken your head, and moved on….instead of compulsively vomiting stupidity all over the internet. No one cares what you think, and I certainly didn’t instruct you to whine like a little bitch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  117. anjin-san says:

    But Cerci Lannister nailed it when she said “When you play the Game of Thrones either you win or you die, there is no middle ground”.

    Ummm. Yea. She also said “I want to make hot monkey love to my brother and bask in the afterglow while he chucks a child out the window”

    You need to find some better thought leaders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  118. Jack says:

    @wr: CRUIKSHANK was decide in 1875, cupcake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  119. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    You cannot restrain a person because he MIGHT break a law, you can only restrain them ONCE they’ve broken the law.

    Which is why we’re all allowed to carry handguns onto planes. You can’t stop me from carrying a gun onto a plane because I MIGHT hijack it….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  120. wr says:

    @Jack: “Show me a 1st amendment limitation that I cannot do. Yell Fire in a crowded theater, I can do that. Slander, I can do that. Threaten, I can do that. It’s not until someone actually breaks a law and is arrested and prosecuted, that the right is limited. I’ll put it in words you understand…Prior Restraint. You cannot restrain a person because he MIGHT break a law, you can only restrain them ONCE they’ve broken the law.”

    Yes, and if gun ownership is made illegal, then by owning a gun you will have broken the law. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  121. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    OK, not equivalent or equal to, but they are not sky is falling numbers either.

    So cupcake boy, were you lying, or simply ignorant when you said this a few minutes ago.

    less than or equal to all other 1st world nations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  122. Jack says:

    @wr: Again, read Cruickshank. You cannot pass a law that makes guns illegal. The courts have ruled. It will not happen in my lifetime. But you go ahead and pound your head against that brick wall, based upon your posts, it won’t do any harm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  123. Jack says:

    @anjin-san: I didn’t have the numbers in front of me, but I still knew we were on the same lower end of the bell curve.

    To you that is lying I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  124. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    OK, not equivalent or equal to, but they are not sky is falling numbers either.

    So the US has a homicide rate that’s anywhere from 2.5 to 10 times that of other equivalent countries, and the answer is a “hey, no big deal”.

    Numbers, how do they work?!?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  125. Jack says:

    But, but, but, California received an A+ from Brady because they have all these great gun laws. This is UNPOSSIBLE!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  126. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    That’s OK because based on statistics one of those guns you fetishizes will kill you soon enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  127. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    we were on the same lower end of the bell curve.

    Since this was not your original claim, it looks like you are going with lying.

    Have to give you credit, you’ve moved the goal posts so much in a short period of time that you are not even playing in the same stadium you started in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  128. PJ says:

    @Jack:

    not equivalent or equal to

    You do enjoy moving your goal posts, don’t you?

    If the US had the same homicide rate as Japan or Iceland, about 13,500 would not have been killed each year.
    If the US had the same homicide rate as Germany or Denmar, about 12,000 would not have been killed each year.
    If the US had the same homicide rate as the UK or France, about 11,500 would not have been killed each year.

    Yeah, the sky is falling…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  129. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    That says, I don’t need a 2nd amendment or a constitution to exercise my right of bearing arms for a lawful purpose.

    Can the government ban you from owning a mortar? An RPG? A working tank? A surface-to-air missile? A nuclear warhead?

    Answer: yes.

    If the government can’t regulate your right to carry weapons, please explain how are legally prevented from owning any of the above.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  130. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Um, no you don’t. Marijuana is outlawed, for example, but we don’t have large scale house to house search and seizure of bongs and rolling papers.

    No, just wrong door raids and military like tactics during which more people are harmed and terrorized than are actually harmed by bongs and rolling papers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  131. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    You cannot restrain a person because he MIGHT break a law, you can only restrain them ONCE they’ve broken the law.

    Complete nonsense. We have laws against conspiracy which prohibit you from, for example, plotting terrorism, or plotting a murder-for-hire, or from plotting a kidnapping. There are many acts which are prohibited not just in the execution but also in the planning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  132. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: “The Second Amendment PROTECTS an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, SUCH AS self-defense within the home. Pp. 2-53.” – DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

    A mortar, an RPG, a working tank, a surface-to-air missile, a nuclear warhead are not firearms.

    BTW, I can own a working tank, and a working cannon, and a flamethrower among other things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  133. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    I didn’t have the numbers in front of me, but I still knew we were on the same lower end of the bell curve.

    The lower end along with Yemen, Albania, Georgia, Cuban and Iran? That’s a neighborhood your’e comfortable living in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  134. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    We have laws against conspiracy which prohibit you from, for example, plotting terrorism, or plotting a murder-for-hire, or from plotting a kidnapping. There are many acts which are prohibited not just in the execution but also in the planning.

    One you begin conspiring, plotting, etc., then you have actually done something. You have started to put the crime in motion. Arresting someone for that is not breaking the rules of prior restraint.

    The police could have arrested this guy merely for the videos he made which included threats. They could have put him on a 72-hour psych hold. They could have, based upon his posts, gotten a search warrant to see if he had the capability to pull off the threats he was making. But you see, he still MADE the threats. No one could stop him from that. It wasn’t until after he made the threats, which was a crime, that he could be arrested.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  135. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Bu…bu…but the Second Amendment says nothing about “firearms.” It says “arms”, simply, which at that time could have been anything from a flintlock rifle to a heavy cannon or howitzer, and today can mean anything up to a nuclear warhead.

    Or are you conceding that the “right to bear arms” is not absolute, and that there are arms which the government can ban you from having?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  136. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    I though your wet dream of Obamacare covered mental health. I covers everything else.

    Well, first I will note that, as as your habit, you toss about a lot of sexual innuendo for a guy in a room full of other guys.

    Now, since we seem to have found another area where you are poorly informed, people with severe mentally illness tend not to bother with things like health insurance. Your average paranoid schizophrenic does not see a lot of need for bathing or wearing clean clothes. He is not sitting around thinking “Hmmm, maybe its time to get online and check out the Covered CA exchange to see what kind of coverage I can get.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  137. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: Do you understand the bell curve? Lower end, as in on the right hand side towards the bottom. Or opposite those countries that have the HIGHEST rate of homicide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  138. Jack says:

    @anjin-san:

    Now, since we seem to have found another area where you are poorly informed, people with severe mentally illness tend not to bother with things like health insurance.

    But, but, but, Obamacare was supposed to cover 30 million uninsured. Surely, those mentally ill, without insurance are among that number!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  139. Tyrell says:

    @Rafer Janders: Yes, and that is why I mentioned that people should be educated and aware of how to secure their guns so that someone can’t grab it in a fit of anger or grab it and start playing around with it.
    “The most dangerous gun is one that is not loaded”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  140. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Someone who doesn’t understand the phrase “equivalent or equal to” should really not be debating bell curve distributions with me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  141. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: A nuclear warhead is not an arm. A jet is not an arm. Why are you being so obtuse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  142. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: Again, I didn’t have the numbers in front of me. But please, continue your belittlement of me because of it.

    The numbers are not as drastic as EVERYONE seems to insinuate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  143. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    A nuclear warhead is not an arm.

    “START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994.[1] The treaty barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 ICBMs, inter-continental ballistic missiles, and bombers. START negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in the removal of about 80 percent of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/START_I

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  144. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    But, but, but, Obamacare was supposed to cover 30 million uninsured. Surely, those mentally ill, without insurance are among that number!

    As you know Jack, current laws are such that even those mentally ill people who have insurance cannot be forced to get treatment for their mental health problems, and as I understand it ACA does not change that situation.

    You seem determined to blame ACA when it covers more of our uninsured, and again if those people who are now covered do not avail themselves of treatment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  145. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    A nuclear warhead is not an arm. A jet is not an arm.

    Nuclear warheads, missiles, rockets, mortar rounds, etc. are most certainly arms. A jet is not an arm, but a jet can carry arms such as machine guns, cannons, and missiles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  146. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Again, I didn’t have the numbers in front of me.

    http://www.google.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  147. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: I was responding to Anjin San and his insinuation that Republicans must fund more mental health initiatives. Mental health is already covered under the ACA. No amount of additional funding will help

    those mentally ill people who have insurance [but] cannot be forced to get treatment for their mental health problems

    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  148. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    The numbers are not as drastic as EVERYONE seems to insinuate.

    If I hired you and another guy to do a job, and I told you that I was going to pay you $1,000 for the job and the other guy $5,000 for the exact same work, would you think that was a drastic difference?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  149. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    But, but, but, Obamacare was supposed to cover 30 million uninsured. Surely, those mentally ill, without insurance are among that number!

    Yea, I remember when engaging in this sort of stupidity was kind of cool. It was when I was in the 8th grade. What grade are you in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  150. Rafer Janders says:

    So, once again: if

    (a) a nuclear warhead (or a Stinger missile, an RPG, etc.) is an arm, and

    (b )the government can ban you from owning a nuclear warhead (etc.) and yet

    (c ) the right to bear arms is apparently inviolable under the Second Amendment, then

    (d) how does the government have any authority to ban your or anyone else from owning a nuclear warhead (Stinger missile, etc.)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  151. anjin-san says:

    Mental health is already covered under the ACA. No amount of additional funding will help

    For those who are unaware, I have a close relative who has severe mental health problems. We have battled for over a decade to keep him alive and safe.

    In an average week, I talk to his social worker, and perhaps a county visiting nurse or two regarding his care. I make at least two trips a month to the local mental health clinic with him. I have made more visits than I care to remember to psych wards and mental hospitals. There have been visits from the police, 5150s, 5250s, and involuntary commitment. My wife and I attend county mental health board meetings. None of this has anything to do with Obamacare.

    You are a good conservative Jack. Horribly ignorant, and proud of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  152. rachel says:

    @Tyrell:

    Yes, and that is why I mentioned that people should be educated and aware of how to secure their guns so that someone can’t grab it in a fit of anger or grab it and start playing around with it.

    However, laws requiring that prospective gun owners pass safety courses and inspections before being allowed to buy guns infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights, so we must fight them to the death! /NRA

    What does “well-regulated militia mean”, anyway? I always thought it meant something like what Switzerland has, but the NRA apparently disagrees.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  153. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    Show me a 1st amendment limitation that I cannot do. Yell Fire in a crowded theater, I can do that. Slander, I can do that. Threaten, I can do that. It’s not until someone actually breaks a law and is arrested and prosecuted, that the right is limited.

    So essentially your legal argument is that you have the right to do anything unless you are caught? It only ceases to be a right when you are successfully prosecuted? That, to use a legal term, is total f*cking nonsense. By your estimation, the Zodiac Killer had the right to murder people because they never figured out who he was.

    Anyway, gag orders issued by a judge are a form of legal prior restraint on speech. U.S. v. Progressive could have been another good example but the government gave up when the case became a moot point.

    I would also note that the 1st Amendment, unlike the 2nd, lacks any pesky qualifiers like “well regulated militia.”

    That says, I don’t need a 2nd amendment or a constitution to exercise my right of bearing arms for a lawful purpose.

    That decision also clearly states that 1st and 2nd Amendments only applied to the federal government, and the states were free to restrict those rights however they may wish. You would do well to recognize that a lot has changed since just after the Civil War, including very recently. Since 1925 we’ve had this thing called the 14th Amendment, which established selective incorporation, which means that the states cannot infringe on fundamental rights just as the federal government cannot. This essentially invalidates your Cruikshank argument, which has been further rejected by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago in 2010, which invalidated gun control laws in Chicago. I’ll bet you support that decision, despite the fact that the court specifically rejected Cruikshank to do arrive at it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  154. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    “The Second Amendment PROTECTS an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, SUCH AS self-defense within the home. Pp. 2-53.” – DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

    A mortar, an RPG, a working tank, a surface-to-air missile, a nuclear warhead are not firearms.

    Exactly. Or did you not notice that the Supreme Court restricted your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms right there in Heller? They didn’t say you have an individual right to possess any arms. They said you have the right to “a firearm.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  155. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Nuclear warheads, missiles, rockets, mortar rounds, etc. are most certainly arms.

    It is well understood the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state. I cannot defend myself with a nuclear warhead, missiles, rockets, and mortar rounds. Additionally, those are simply sophisticated BOMBS, not arms.

    All that counts is how the words used in the Constitution would have been understood at the time. The words “people” and “bear” in the 2nd amendment clearly mean arms that a single man/woman can carry. That eliminates Nuclear warheads, missiles, and rockets. Additionally, ["the 18th-century meaning is no different from the meaning today. Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.”"]-extracted from Heller.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  156. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    I didn’t have the numbers in front of me, but I still knew we were on the same lower end of the bell curve.

    You made a comparison to 1st world countries, and said our homicide rate was equal or less than all of them. In fact, the rate is, as Rafer notes, 2.5 – 10 times higher than all of them. You were way, way, way off in your claim. Stupendously so.

    Now you want to claim, “Hey, countries with recent/frequent wars (civil and otherwise) and/or widespread lawlessness have higher rates, so that’s what I meant.” Bullshit. We are by far the richest and most powerful country on Earth. We should hold ourselves to higher standards than the best nations among us, not compare ourselves to the worst. By any reasonable standard, we have tragic, embarrassing rates of homicide and especially gun deaths.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  157. mantis says:

    @Jack:

    The numbers are not as drastic as EVERYONE seems to insinuate.

    You and fourteen other people are in a room. Either one of you will be killed or all fifteen. Does that difference seem drastic to you? It does to me. That’s the magnitude of difference between our homicide rate and that of Japan and Iceland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  158. wr says:

    @Jack: I realize that reading is hard for you, but I wasn’t talking about passing a bill — hence the notion that this could happen only after, say, Scalia left the Court. It was about the Court redeciding this stupid idea once there is no longer a reactionary majority ready to ignore the actual words of the Constitution.

    Please try to keep up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  159. wr says:

    @Tyrell: ““The most dangerous gun is one that is not loaded””

    Except, you know, for one that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  160. anjin-san says:

    “The most dangerous gun is one that is not loaded”

    Unless you have removed the firing pin, and you are certain it has not been replaced, it’s a good idea to handle a gun with the same caution and respect you would give a gun that you know is loaded and ready to fire.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  161. anjin-san says:

    We should hold ourselves to higher standards than the best nations among

    Why do all that hard work when we can simply pound on our chests, point at things our grandparents accomplished, and shout “USA #1″?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  162. Grewgills says:

    @Jack:
    Actually the United States is, if I counted right*, at about ~103 out of ~210 countries in murder rate per capita putting it pretty much in the middle of a btw non-normal distribution. So, once again you are flat out wrong on a point of fact and on the type of distribution involved. You really should check before you post.

    * I may be off by a couple due to scrolling error and an ever so slightly distracting 6 month old.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  163. michael reynolds says:

    Someone up-thread may have already linked to this, but as is so often the case, the satirists at The Onion have it right:

    ISLA VISTA, CA—In the days following a violent rampage in southern California in which a lone attacker killed seven individuals, including himself, and seriously injured over a dozen others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Tuesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said North Carolina resident Samuel Wipper, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this guy from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what he really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past five years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”

    The gun cult is a cancer on this country. A fwcking cancer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  164. mom of 4 says:

    We can debate gun control/gun rights to death, but absolutely nothing will happen until some congress person’s child is killed in a mass shooting, preferably in DC. Nothing. I hope and pray my children are no where near.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  165. C. Clavin says:

    @mom of 4:
    Great point…the same as when they come out…or need health care.

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  166. Stonetools says:

    Looking to Jack’s comments, it’s plain that the gun nuts have no intention of compromising, so the answer to the OP’s question is No. Jack’s position is that there should be no limitation on the his right to buy any firearm he wants, any time he wants, no matter how many children get killed. What’s more, not only children be damned, but facts be damned as well. You really can’t have any serious basis for compromise with someone who either makes up his own facts, or just doesn’t care what the facts are. It’s probably why the gun legislation after the Newtown tragedy was doomed. The Obama Administration was interested in rational, fact based compromise and the gun lobby was interested in scaremongering , industry profits and their “rights”. The Administration further shot itself in the foot by waiting until passions had cooled and in telegraphing its moves, giving the gun fanatics ample time to whip up passions of its own and to perfect it’s propoganda. As usual, the Administration thought it was in a reasoned debate and the gun lobby understood it was in a war.

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  167. bill says:

    @PJ: it’s been done, always better to be prepared! gun control doesn’t stop killers from killing. ironic that they don’t publish stories about armed people repelling attacks against them or potential victims, but that goes against the narrative.
    @PJ: a lot of those countries are missing a certain “ethnicity” i think, what could that be now……hmmmm……..
    @Rafer Janders: still dodging the “mental health” issue? you prefer to let lunatics roam freely and prey on their imagined “oppressors” vs putting them in a padded cell? oh, cali has gun control – it didn’t work there. maybe they should turn to “stop & frisk”? nah, you’ll trample criminals rights…..

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  168. george says:

    @Jack:

    The words “people” and “bear” in the 2nd amendment clearly mean arms that a single man/woman can carry.

    Like a bottle carrying a toxic gas canister? Or some sort of biological weapon? How about simple grenades and IED’s? All easily carried by a single person.

    Think how safe it’d be if everyone was walking around with enough nerve toxins on their body to wipe out a small city. No one would dare attack anyone else, right?

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  169. Grewgills says:

    @bill:

    @PJ: a lot of those countries are missing a certain “ethnicity” i think, what could that be now……hmmmm……..

    Please elucidate.

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  170. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    The words “people” and “bear” in the 2nd amendment clearly mean arms that a single man/woman can carry. That eliminates Nuclear warheads, missiles, and rockets.

    Nope, you can make a nuclear warhead small enough for a man to carry. There’s no specific demarcation for how small you can make a nuclear weapon; the smallest the US has ever made is the SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) which would fit in a large backpack.

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  171. wr says:

    @Jack: In other words, Jack’s got nothing again.

    Learn to make an argument. You’ll waste a lot less time on childish insults.

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  172. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    The words “people” and “bear” in the 2nd amendment clearly mean arms that a single man/woman can carry. That eliminates Nuclear warheads, missiles, and rockets.

    It doesn’t’ eliminate missiles such as the Stinger, or mortars, or RPGs, since all those can be carried by a single man.

    And yet, you’re not allowed to own them. How can this be, if the 2nd Amendment doesn’t permit the government to regulate your right to bear arms???

    There’s a logic contradiction in your argument. You claim, firstly, that the individual right to bear arms is absolute. And yet it turns out that there’s many categories of arms that the government bans you from owning. So either the right is not, in fact, absolute, or everyone should be able to walk around Manhattan with a nuclear warhead or a Stinger missile over their shoulder.

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  173. Pylon says:

    Jack is one shitty debater.

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  174. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    It is well understood the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state.

    Um….when was the last time people defended the state ??? I mean…Clive Bundy used guns to steal from the state. But defend the state? Not so much.

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  175. PJ says:

    @bill:

    ironic that they don’t publish stories about armed people repelling attacks against them or potential victims, but that goes against the narrative.

    Who are they? And how are they able to suppress all these stories?

    a lot of those countries are missing a certain “ethnicity” i think, what could that be now……hmmmm……..

    Please dig further and let us all know what ethnicity you’re referring to.

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  176. Mu says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    Of course marihuana is probably more widely available than guns, what makes my point. You can outlaw them, but unless you go drastic with enforcements you won’t get any guns of the street with that move.

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  177. Galen Faulkes says:

    The biggest impediment to “reasonable” gun law reform is that the people on both sides of the issue are lying. They either want to eliminate more restrictions or they want to ban guns altogether. Anybody who says that isn’t true just isn’t willing to explain to you their, “This is just the first step towards…,” plan.

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  178. Tillman says:

    Guys, stop commenting in this thread, or the Ghost of R. Lee Emery and his gigantic posts full of copy-and-pasted gun facts he spreads throughout the Internet like digital gonorrhea will come for us!

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  179. wr says:

    @Pylon: “Jack is one shitty debater.”

    Yeah, but that’s okay — he’s got lots of gun. So when he inevitably loses a debate, he can still win the argument…

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  180. al-Ameda says:

    @Galen Faulkes:

    They either want to eliminate more restrictions or they want to ban guns altogether.

    Our country rarely presents us with a zero-sum solution to messy political problems. However, if I was presented with a one-or-the-other choice like that, I’d choose the latter. I’d take my chances with no guns over all-guns-all-the-time.

    Honestly, we’re awash in guns – 315M people and nearly as many guns – there is no chance we’ll go completely sane. It is more probable that the gun cultists will prevail than will the brave people who frequent public places and restaurants without a gun.

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  181. Moderate Mom says:

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

    Study at Harvard done to ascertain whether stricter gun laws would decrease murder and suicide rates. The study looked at gun laws around the world in relation to their murder rate (by gun or other means) and suicide rate (also by gun or other means). The short answer is no.

    Interesting side note was that countries with the strictest gun laws also seemed to have the highest rate per capita of homicides by guns.

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  182. Mu says:

    Well, the lowest murder rate is in Japan – the country with the lowest gun density in the world (advantage of being an island nation with strict border controls, allows enforcement). So you can have a no-gun country, but only under idealized, rarely achieved conditions.

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  183. anjin-san says:

    @ Moderate Mom

    Gary Mauser, one of the authors of the study you like to, is a longtime ally of the NRA. Co-author Don Kates is a NRA member and pro-gun lobbyist.

    Basically, they are gun industry shills. But thanks for sharing.

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  184. stonetools says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    Sigh, guess its time to post some numbers:

    The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – there are 89 guns for every 100 Americans, compared to 6 in England and Wales.

    And the murder figures themselves are astounding for Brits used to around 550 murders per year. In 2011 – the latest year for which detailed statistics are available – there were 12,664 murders in the US. Of those, 8,583 were caused by firearms.

    The FBI crime statistics are based on reports to FBI bureau and local law enforcement. The figures are not complete – there are no stats for Florida or Alabama on firearm murders. But even so it provides a detailed picture of attacks by state.

    Japan’s rates of handgun deaths are even lower than the UK’s -often in the single digits. There was one year recently that it was six- not 6,000, mind you, or 600- just six.
    How your “scholars” produced the results they did out of such numbers is best left to the imagination.

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  185. Galen Faulkes says:

    @al-Ameda: Note how the reply cuts out more than enough of my original post to completely miss the point which is not about what people on either side of the gun issue really want but that so many lie about what they really want.

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  186. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here’s one hell of a good reason why there should be no compromise with the gun-grabbers: you act like blithering idiots whenever you get the chance.

    Let’s look at the last major piece of gun control legislation passed, the Assault Weapons ban. What was so incredibly stupid about it?

    1) It addressed a problem that didn’t exist (the number of crimes committed by the covered weapons was minimal to negligible).

    2) Most of the features addressed by the law were cosmetic and/or irrelevant to criminal use.

    3) Once passed, it had no discernible effect on gun crimes.

    4) It took manufacturers almost no time to tweak the banned weapons and keep making and selling them.

    5) When the law expired, there was again no discernible effect on gun crimes.

    That’s just five incredibly stupid thing about the last big gun control law. I’m sure there are several more.

    So now you want to bring about more “common sense” gun laws? After the last time, that would be tremendously refreshing — if not unprecedented.

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  187. al-Ameda says:

    @Galen Faulkes:

    Note how the reply cuts out more than enough of my original post to completely miss the point which is not about what people on either side of the gun issue really want but that so many lie about what they really want.

    Duly noted.
    However I do not think that most people on the left end of the spectrum want guns banned altogether, nor do I think that most people on the right want all regulation of weaponry rescinded or repealed.

    I do not believe that most people lie about what they with respect to guns and regulation. I happen to think we are sharply divided on the issue, however the most money and the strongest most focused lobby in this debate is clearly on the right, so Guns R Us rules the day.

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  188. Moderate Mom says:

    @stonetools: Link to source please. Thanks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  189. Moderate Mom says:

    @anjin-san: Link to source/sources please. Thanks!

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  190. Rafer Janders says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    Link to source please. Thanks!

    http://www.google.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  191. Rafer Janders says:

    @bill:

    a lot of those countries are missing a certain “ethnicity” i think, what could that be now……hmmmm……..

    OK, sure, Japan, South Korea, South Korea and Sweden don’t have a lot of Scots-Irish, that’s true. But Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Great Britain all have large Scots-Irish populations and yet they all still have much lower homicide rates than we.

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  192. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Remember, according to the “reasonable” people on the gun-control side, you are far safer being unarmed and trusting your life to the authorities to protect you.

    The authorities, who have several legal rulings backing them up in saying that they have absolutely no responsibility to actually protect anyone. (See Warren v. District of Columbia, among others)

    The authorities, like former police officer Mark Fuhrman and the cops in the Rodney King case, are the only ones who should be trusted with guns.

    The authorities, like the cop who shot the unarmed Oscar Grant III on a BART train while he lay face-down on the floor, pinned by other cops.

    The authorities, like the NYPD officers cited above who shot 9 innocent bystanders while trying to shoot the bad guy.

    The authorities, like the California cops who were hunting Christopher Dorner (large black man) and, in a case of mistaken identity, shot two Hispanic women. Their truck ended up with 102 bullet holes. In another incident, they wounded a white man. (The cops’ defense was that the women’s blue Toyota truck and the man’s black Honda ltruck ooked an awful lot like Dorner’s gray Nissan truck.)

    So, remember, when you’re in trouble, you’re safest when you’re unarmed and praying for the authorities show up. This worked out wonderfully at Virginia Tech, at Fort Hood (where American soldiers had to run and hide until civilian cops showed up to save them), on the Long Island Railroad, and in countless other cases. Because you’re better off being helpless than trying to defend yourself.

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  193. Paul L. says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, remember, when you’re in trouble, you’re safest when you’re unarmed and praying for the authorities show up.

    However the authorities may just set up a perimeter and wait 1/2 an hour like they did for Persecuted Political Prisoners and Social Justice Warriors Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky to finish with the rich Fatcat 1% Petit family.

    Then hold a star chamber witch hunt trial against these poor members of the 99% when it turned out one of 1% survived and starting using his white privilege..

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  194. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    So, remember, when you’re in trouble, you’re safest when you’re unarmed and praying for the authorities show up

    If I remember correctly, you have stated that you don’t carry a gun. Why is that, if, according to you it leaves you defenseless and puts your life at risk?

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  195. anjin-san says:

    @ Moderate Mom

    Link to source please. Thanks!

    It took me about 90 seconds on Google to figure out where the authors of the study you cited are coming from. You cited them, did you really not make even a tiny effort to discover who they are and what their motivations might be?

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  196. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    trusting your life to the authorities to protect you.

    Since, according to you, the authorities are not competent to do this, would you forego calling the police if you are in bed tonight and you hear someone trying to break into your home?

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  197. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Yup, annie, I don’t carry a gun. That’s my choice, for my reasons.

    Unlike you, I don’t feel the urge to impose my choice on others.

    As for your last comment about a break-in, why do you think that “getting a gun” and “calling the police” are mutually exclusive options?

    You really are all about limiting choices for people, aren’t you?

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  198. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    I don’t carry a gun.

    So you choose to leave yourself defenseless? In a situation where prayer is your best option when trouble starts? Either your above comments are BS, or you are pretty stupid (I don’t dismiss the possibility of a combination)

    why do you think that “getting a gun” and “calling the police” are mutually exclusive options?

    You are the one carrying on about the incompetence of police and the actual danger they pose to citizens. Why would you call the police if you really feel this way? Could it be you are making a specious argument you don’t believe in simply to annoy people? Would it not be better if you stopped doing this and got a life?

    You really are all about limiting choices for people, aren’t you?

    Unlike you, I actually own guns and know how to use them. How am I trying to limit choices? Be specific.

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  199. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’ve made my choice, annie, and I respect the rights of others to make their choices.

    You, on the other hand, seem to have made your choice, BUT you show contempt for me for choosing otherwise, AND you want to deny others the right to make the same choice you have made.

    So, annie, I choose to NOT own guns. You hold me in contempt.

    Others choose to own guns. You hold them in contempt.

    You choose to own guns. You’re the moral exemplar and the exception to the rule.

    Mighty convenient standard you have there… and so amazingly flexible.

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  200. anjin-san says:

    AND you want to deny others the right to make the same choice you have made.

    And where exactly, did I say that? Again, be specific. What choices am I trying to limit?

    Others choose to own guns. You hold them in contempt.

    Really? My friends that I shoot with will be surprised to hear that. Perhaps you had better show where I said that.

    I hold you in contempt because you are an idiot, and darned proud of it. Guns have nothing to do with it. Your blither about me “limiting choices” (and a lot of other things) is the prattle of the dead.

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  201. anjin-san says:

    The argument about “needing guns for safety” is an interesting one. Most people are in far more danger driving to the store to get milk than they are of being in a situation where a gun could save their life. Having a gun around the house typically creates more danger than it mitigates.

    If you are worried about your personal safety, I recommend something like Krav Mag, where they will teach you to disarm most gun wielding pinheads and shove the gun up their ass.

    Far too many carry types are like Jenos’ personal hero George Zimmermann, would-be tough guys who don’t want to do the work involved in actually becoming a tough guy. They take the shortcut of carrying a gun, which tends to fill them with false courage, putting others at risk.

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  202. mantis says:

    @anjin-san:

    You believe what Jenos says you believe. If you think you have your own beliefs and say so, you are just some kind of Nazi trying to “silence” him with mind control rays, or something.

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  203. An Interested Party says:

    a lot of those countries are missing a certain “ethnicity” i think, what could that be now……hmmmm……..

    And yet again, that’s mighty white of you…

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  204. bill says:

    @Tillman: i like how you all side with psychos!
    @anjin-san: you have compassion for homicidal maniacs who wantonly slaughter innocents? and somehow money will make this all better- like our public school system? the kid’s filthy rich and his “not so much” father was doing what most wealthy absentee dad’s do- throw money at him and cross your fingers. he knew the kid was a ticking time bomb and did nothing- just like the sandy hook kids dad.
    .@Rafer Janders: see above
    @Grewgills: black, need more stats? google “fbi crime stats”. my girlfriend’s black so i can’t be a racist- save your breath.
    @Rafer Janders: they like each other just a little bit more?

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  205. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Annie, you remind me of just how much I suck at holding a grudge. I’m still going to talk civilly with you.

    I made an error earlier. I took your being disagreeable to mean that you were actually disagreeing. But you weren’t actually disagreeing with me, you were just being insulting.

    So, here’s my position: I think that the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutional right, and any attempt to abridge or abrogate that right has a hell of a high standard to meet. And those who call for “common-sense” limitations tend to come up with some incredibly stupid ideas that they think meet that test.

    On related notes, I will say that it strikes me as amusing that the soi-disant “intellectuals” actually celebrate their ignorance on guns, and refer to those who know more as “fetishists.” Also, while there’s a lot of talk about how much money is behind the pro-gun side, there’s very little mention of just how much money there is on the gun-grabber side — look at the cash spent by the Brady people and Mike Bloomberg, for example.

    Finally, about Zimmerman… here’s a simple statement:

    “George Zimmerman was a white cop wannabe who spotted a black teen in his neighborhood, called the cops, and then, against the orders of the police, chased down the teen, gun in hand, and shot him in cold blood.”

    That’s the general mythos put out. How many things are factually wrong with that statement? And can you identify them?

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  206. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    you have compassion for homicidal maniacs

    Where did I say that? What I did say is that we can do a better job dealing with mental illness in our society coming from a place of compassion than one of anger, and that we should keep in mind that people who are mentally ill did not choose to be that way.

    Tell me, does your being really mad at a psychotic spree killer change anything? While we are on the subject, what did you expect his dad to “do” to prevent the tragedy – be specific.

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  207. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Third time now, where have I called for restrictions to be placed on anyones rights or their choices to be limited? You have been droning on and on about this, so it should be very simple for you to show us. Or could it be that you have invented a position for me and preceded to become a tad obsessed with your fiction?

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  208. Grewgills says:

    @bill:

    @Grewgills: black, need more stats? google “fbi crime stats”. my girlfriend’s black so i can’t be a racist- save your breath.

    That’s not how it works bill. I take it you are familiar with Strom Thurmond?

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  209. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Third time now, where have I called for restrictions to be placed on anyones rights or their choices to be limited? You have been droning on and on about this, so it should be very simple for you to show us. Or could it be that you have invented a position for me and preceded to become a tad obsessed with your fiction?

    Well, then, let me say this for the second time:

    I made an error earlier. I took your being disagreeable to mean that you were actually disagreeing. But you weren’t actually disagreeing with me, you were just being insulting.

    I then spelled out my beliefs. I was tacitly inviting you to respond by giving yours. You apparently didn’t pick up on that subtlety, so I’ll make it more explicit: please share your own beliefs.

    If all you have to offer is more insults, then, feel free to not respond. I’ve been called worse by better.

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  210. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’ll make it more explicit: please share your own beliefs.

    If you don’t know what my beliefs are, why do you keep saying that I am “all about limiting people’s choices” and that “you want to deny others the right to make the same choice you have made”?

    Run along little boy, I think you have made up enough stories for one day.

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  211. anjin-san says:

    This debate has me thinking. Why don’t we equip a group of tough looking black men with AR-15s, leather jackets and berets, and send them into establishments in Texas frequented by men in cowboy hats?

    It would be interesting to see how much respect their right to bear arms receives.

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  212. Grewgills says:

    @bill:
    I’m curious, does your girl friend know that you consistently use her as your get out of racism free card?

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  213. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Remember, according to the “reasonable” people on the gun-control side, you are far safer being unarmed and trusting your life to the authorities to protect you.

    By way of inference, what I have might of have deduced here in this thread from our conservative friends, is that apparently the most dangerous gun-carrying people in America are our police officers.

    Actually, what I’ve learned is that the number of gun-related deaths resulting from police action is far less than the annual number of shooting deaths (about 32,000) that result from non-police activities.

    Basically, I am not going to stay in a public area – a park, a plaza, city sidewalks, and so forth – if I find myself near a person carrying a gun. It’s happened to me before, in a city park in San Francisco, and I took notice and quietly left the area.

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  214. anjin-san says:

    Basically, I am not going to stay in a public area – a park, a plaza, city sidewalks, and so forth – if I find myself near a person carrying a gun. It’s happened to me before, in a city park in San Francisco, and I took notice and quietly left the area.

    Ditto. As I have mentioned many times here, I enjoy shooting and own several guns. That being said, If you offered me $1000 to carry a gun for a day as I go about my business, I would not do it. I’ve met too many carry types that strike me as guys who are looking for a jolt of instant manhood. Combine that with a deadly weapon, and you have an accident waiting to happen.

    If I see someone carrying, I am going somewhere else. If a business welcomes these folks, they will lose my business.

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  215. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’ve twice asked you to elaborate on your beliefs, without speculating, and you’re still fixated on my earlier assumptions that I retracted. At this point, if you’re going to continue to refuse to state your positions, I really have no choice to assume either 1) I was initially correct, and you objected that I discerned that without your cooperation, or 2) you don’t have any opinions, and are just looking for excuses to engage in more insults. In either case, I don’t see any reason to continue the discussion.

    As for your other comment…

    This debate has me thinking. Why don’t we equip a group of tough looking black men with AR-15s, leather jackets and berets, and send them into establishments in Texas frequented by men in cowboy hats?

    Considering the demographics of Texas, they very well might be taken for veterans or 2nd Amendment activists and welcomed. Dunno if they’d be offered drinks, as drinking while armed is not generally a good idea,

    I’d wager they’d be treated better than, say, a nerdy-looking white guy in South Central LA or Compton or Dearborn…

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  216. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’d wager they’d be treated better than, say, a nerdy-looking white guy in South Central LA or Compton or Dearborn

    As a somewhat nerdy looking white guy that lived in LA (Venice), visited friends regularly in South Central, and had a girl friend that lived and taught in Compton (so spent time there) and in worse neighborhoods, I call BS.

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  217. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: You’re probably right; I shouldn’t have responded to annie’s cheap stereotyping with my own. He’s obviously better at it. Must be all that experience.

    What he failed to take into account, though, is that there’s a lot of truth in the saying “an armed society is a polite society.” His hypothetical — “Why don’t we equip a group of tough looking black men with AR-15s, leather jackets and berets, and send them into establishments in Texas frequented by men in cowboy hats” — would hardly produce the kind of Wild West shootout he (most likely) fantasizes about.

    And yeah, I’m still waiting for him to actually assert a position on this issue.

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